It was almost lunch time when we got down from the bus at Stratford-upon-Avon, birth place of Shakespeare. Stratford-upon-Avon was the second stop of the day with limited time to explore the small town in south Warwickshire, England. It was one of those rare days I was on a package tour which is not my preferred choice of exploring places. With a week’s vacation in hand and an agenda of exploring as many places in & around London, I chose to go a day trip to visit 3 places outside London – Warwick castle, Stratford-upon-Avon and Oxford. With chilly breeze making us to tuck our hands within our coat pockets, we grabbed a quick-lunch & went in to explore Shakespeare’s birth house which is turned into a museum. A walk through the house & watching those old artifacts felt like going back in history and living in the days of Shakespeare.
The end of the tour lead us to the garden of the house where couple of artistes were enacting the dialogues of Shakespeare’s plays. They took requests from the visitors and were performing some of the famous dialogues from those place. While they were entertaining everyone, a small statue (or rather a bust) in the corner of the garden caught my eye. My guess got confirmed as I slowly walked towards the corner, it was a bust of our own ‘Rabindranath Tagore’.
While I stood there reading the inscription and taking few photos, an elderly couple walked behind me. The lady asked me ‘Is he from your country? Do you know about him?’. I turned to them and just nodded smilingly in agreement. Before I could get back to taking photos came another question ‘Was he famous over there?’. While I was wondering what to say, the gentleman probably her husband pitched in and his words left me speechless – ‘You can simply say he is Shakespeare of India. Or the other way, our Shakespeare is Tagore of Britain’ and smiled at me. All I could do was to smile back at them and nod.
The inscription below the bust reads:
1861 – 1941
Poet, Painter, Playwright,
The Voice of India